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Enhancing productivity
Complete systems for recipe development



Chemicals, Mechanical & Thermal Processes
Twin screw extruder in pharmaceutical design with gravimetric loss-in-weight feeder, cooling belt and strand pelletizer (Source: Coperion)

With its tailor-made turnkey technological solutions based around the ZSK twin screw extruder, Coperion is responding to the growing demand from the pharmaceutical industry for systems for continuous production processes that offer higher efficiency and uniformity than batch processes. One example of this is a complete pharmaceutical system with a ZSK 18 MEGAlab twin screw extruder with an 18 mm screw diameter that was recently delivered to an international pharmaceutical company. This fully integrated system includes two Coperion K-Tron gravimetric loss-in-weight feeders with superior accuracy in API and liquid feeding, a cooling belt, and a Coperion Pelletizing Technology strand pelletizer. With a maximum throughput rate of 10 kg/h, it is suitable for both wet extrusion and continuous hot-melt extrusion (HME) on a laboratory scale. In the implementation of this system, Coperion leveraged its experience that spans over 30 years in specialty applications for recipe development as well as large production systems for this demanding industry. April 17-19, 2018 Coperion presents its technological solutions at Interphex 2018 (New York, NY, USA, Booth 2261).

Precise, reproducible product quality

One reason for the continually increasing importance of HME processing in the pharmaceutical industry is its intensive mixing effect, as offered by Coperion’s co-rotating ZSK twin screw extruders. As a result, active substances and excipients can be dispersed very finely and homogeneously in pharmaceutical polymers without the use of solvents, which promotes a high degree of bioavailability of the APIs (also BCS classes 2 & 4). In addition, the self-wiping screw profile of these systems eliminates dead spaces. Due to the specific torque of 11.3 Nm/cm3 which allows low ratios of throughput to screw speed, the thermal stress on the APIs and polymers in the ZSK process section is low. Combined with the customized peripheral equipment, these systems make it possible to precisely adhere to the recipe and to create a reproducibly high product quality. In addition, process steps, such as encapsulation or taste masking, can be integrated into the process.

Highly accurate and customized feeding of the ingredients

The integration of the Coperion K-Tron feeders for complete systems ensures optimal dispensing of the formulation ingredients. Coperion K-Tron is known for its highly accurate feeding solutions for pharmaceutical applications. The feeders, which are available as volumetric or gravimetric models, demonstrate a high level of reliability, especially in continuous processes. The wide range of feeder designs makes it possible to feed a very wide range of materials – from the finest powders and pellets to liquids and pastes – to a pharmaceutical process very precisely. Suitable feed systems are even available for ingredients with demanding properties, such as poorly flowing or sticky materials, flooding powders, temperature-sensitive liquids, or substances with a high hazard potential. For complex recipes, several feeders can be grouped around an extruder inlet.

At this year’s Interphex, Coperion K-Tron is pleased to display the newest innovation in pharmaceutical feeder design. The new feeder and scale combination includes modularity for quick feeder exchange, easier access and cleanability, as well as a smaller footprint, ideal for multi feeder clustering around continuous processes.

All Coperion K-Tron feeders have always been specifically designed to meet the stringent requirements of this industry, including compliance with GMP guidelines and the use of FDA-approved construction materials.

Modular system provides maximum flexibility

All ZSK pharmaceutical extruders have a compact design, are easy to operate, and offer optimal accessibility for cleaning and maintenance. For maximum flexibility when feeding liquids and devolatilizing the melt, Coperion uses a modular design for the process section, which includes several barrels in which the co-rotating screws operate. The size-independent Do/Di ratio (outer screw diameter to inner screw diameter) of 1.55 allows reliable scale-up. The systems are designed to comply with GMP guidelines. Customers receive complete documentation for all process parameters (V-Lifecycle) based on a URS (User Requirement Specification).

Precise pelletizing solutions

Coperion Pelletizing Technology offers suitable pelletizers that are specifically designed for pharmaceutical applications. The systems are characterized by their high level of reliability and product quality and have proven themselves many times in practice. Appropriate materials and surfaces are used in order to meet the high requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. Special attention is paid to making the systems easy to access and to clean. Other features, such as pellet length adjustment, can also be realized.

Stefan Gebhardt, General Manager of Business Unit Food & Pharma at Coperion, says: “Like all industries, the pharmaceutical industry is constantly striving to increase process efficiency. Our continuously operating ZSK extrusion systems offer interesting potential, as they increase productivity in comparison to conventional batch processes without compromising on quality, and they require less space. The FDA also supports the trend towards continuous processes because they can accelerate product development and reduce production time. And, as the last link in the chain, patients also benefit from the use of our extruders because the intensive dispersing effect can increase the bioavailability of the incorporated pharmaceuticals, and therefore optimize the effect.”

Chemicals News

Marl Chemical Park
Siemens build industrial power plant



Siemens to build industrial power plant at the Marl Chemical Park in Germany
Picture: Siemens

Siemens will build a highly efficient combined cycle power plant as a turnkey project at the Marl Chemical Park in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The order was placed by the specialty chemical group Evonik Industries. The new industrial power plant will consist of two units, each with an electrical capacity of 90 megawatts, and produce both electricity and process steam for the chemical park. The site’s integrated steam network will also supply district heat for about 2,000 homes in the future. The plant’s fuel efficiency will thus exceed 90 percent. With this combined cycle power plant, Evonik will replace its last coal-fired plant at the Marl Chemical Park. Because the plant will produce environmentally friendly electricity, process steam, and district heat from natural gas, the company will be able to cut CO2 emissions by one million metric tons per year. The plant thus makes an important contribution to decarbonization. Construction is scheduled to begin later in 2019, and the power plant is expected to go into operation in 2022. Siemens Financial Services (SFS), Siemens’ financing arm, developed a leasing financing solution specifically for Evonik in collaboration with Siemens Gas and Power. Together with the KfW IPEX Bank and LBBW, SFS will handle refinancing of the leasing agreement. The project volume is in the lower triple-digit million euro range.

“In building this power plant, whose technical and commercial concept was worked out jointly between Siemens and Evonik, we’re helping Evonik significantly cut its CO2 emissions,” said Michael Becker, CFO of Siemens Gas and Power. “In addition, the state-of-the-art plant will ensure a reliable supply of electricity and process steam for the chemical park. The ability to use various gases as fuel is another benefit and further increases the plant’s economic feasibility.”

“In deciding to build the new power plant, we’re ending our coal-based production of electricity and steam in Marl after more than 80 years, and cutting the direct annual greenhouse gas emissions of our plants by nearly one fifth worldwide,” said Thomas Wessel, Chief Human Resources Officer at Evonik. “We are pleased to have Siemens at our side, a reliable partner who is helping us to achieve our ambitious climate goals.”

“Siemens Financial Services’ structuring expertise and experience in the energy sector for years enabled us to offer a financing solution tailored to the customer’s needs,” said Veronika Bienert, CFO of Siemens Financial Services. “This made it possible to implement the project in close cooperation with Siemens Gas and Power, which is providing the technology and service activities.”

Siemens’ scope of supply includes the turnkey construction of two identical power plant units as well as one industrial gas turbine, and one industrial steam turbine for each unit. It also includes generators, auxiliary systems, and the control system.

Siemens will carry out preventive maintenance work on both gas turbines for a period of 15 years under a long-term service agreement. This agreement also covers remote diagnostic services for daily plant monitoring and monthly analyses of the operating data. These digital services will ensure high plant availability.

Thanks to the use of special heat recovery steam generators and catalysts, the system can operate on natural gas as well as re-gasified liquefied natural gas (LNG), and various other gases, such as residual gas from production processes. Each power plant unit can produce not only electricity but also up to 220 metric tons of process steam per hour. Thanks to the plant’s high flexibility that enables it to compensate for the fluctuating infeed of renewable energy into the power grid and its ability to produce district heat, it is also supporting the energy transition in Germany.

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Chemicals Fairs Food & Beverage Pharmaceuticals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

For the polymers, chemical, pharma and food industry
Next Generation of High Accuracy Vibratory Feeding Technology



Coperion K-Tron’s new line of K3 vibratory feeders features a unique, patent-pending drive system combined with an advanced control package, resulting in gentler product handling, higher accuracy and quicker product changeover. (Picture: Coperion K-Tron)
Coperion K-Tron’s new line of K3 vibratory feeders features a unique, patent-pending drive system combined with an advanced control package, resulting in gentler product handling, higher accuracy and quicker product changeover. (Picture: Coperion K-Tron)

Coperion K-Tron is proud to announce a completely new K3 line of vibratory feeders for dry bulk solids.  The innovative new feeder design features a unique, patent-pending drive system combined with an advanced control package.  The new K3 vibratory feeder is able to achieve accuracies averaging 35% better over traditional vibratory technologies. This revolutionary new generation of Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight vibratory feeders offers gentle handling of the bulk material, higher accuracy and faster product changeover, resulting in less product waste, less downtime and better end product quality as well as improved sustainability.

New technology brings significant advantages

These advantages are possible thanks to groundbreaking new technology. The key to achieving high accuracy is the ability to deliver a continuous, even product discharge with minimal pulsations. The new K3 vibratory drive is able to do this thanks to a completely new shock absorber design. Conventional vibratory feeders use rubber or spring shock absorbers, which allow movement of the drive in all directions, resulting in rotational motion. In contrast to these conventional shock absorbers, the new K3 line uses a unique flexible pendulum technology which provides shock absorption only parallel to the desired direction of motion, eliminating rotational movement. This parallel motion ensures an even material flow of the product along the entire length of the tray.

The advanced control system and feeder electronics include internal sensors which measure acceleration, displacement, load, current and temperature at rates of up to 25,000 times per second. The fast-acting controller then adjusts the vibratory drive signal to maintain clean sinusoidal displacement for optimal mass flow. The combination of this unique drive with the Coperion K-Tron SmartConnex control system also results in extremely low energy consumption as compared to other feeding technologies. Power consumption can be as low as 20 Watts for feed rates as high as 6,000 kg/h, thus making it ideal for improved production sustainability and minimal heat dissipation.

The typical feeder package consists of a feed hopper, vibratory tray and vibratory drive mounted on a weighing system featuring patented, high accuracy Smart Force Transducer weighing technology and combined with SmartConnex controls. The mechanical package is modular in design, and versatile in that it can accommodate custom tray configurations and lengths, offering the user more flexibility.  A special quick-release clamp mechanism on the feeder tray allows for quick product changeover. The absence of mechanical wear parts results in lower maintenance requirements and ensures gentle handling of the bulk material. In addition to the standard design, a line of hygienic, easy-clean configurations is also available. These include a hygienic silicone cover to enclose the complete drive assembly, making it also suitable for food and pharmaceutical applications.

Ideal for gentle handling of difficult bulk materials

Vibratory feeders are ideal for the gentle handling of a wide variety of materials, including friable products, abrasive products, products with non-uniform shapes, and glass fibers. They are ideally suited to applications such as the high accuracy feeding of finished food products to packaging lines, uncoated tablets to coating lines, as well as difficult feeding of pellets or regrind to plastic extrusion lines, for example in plastic recycling applications.. Vibratory feeders can often be a viable alternative to screw feeders for difficult materials, where gentle vibratory feeding may allow feeding without build-up which can occur on screws and screw tubes.

Coperion at the K 2019: Hall 14, Stand 14B19

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Chemicals Fairs Food & Beverage Ingredients & Auxiliary Materials Mechanical & Thermal Processes Pharmaceuticals Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Valves, Pipes & Fittings

Filtech 2019
Visit the trade show for filtration and separation technology



Picture: Filtech Exhibitions
Picture: Filtech Exhibitions

Filtration and separation techniques are among the most important basic procedural operations in all process industries. Most raw materials and products are mixtures of substances and must therefore be filtered or separated for further processing. Filter solutions play also an important role in achieving hygienic production environments, as required in the pharmaceutical and other process industries.

International Trade Show for Filtration and Separation

At the Filtech show, which takes place from 22 to 24 October 2019 in the Cologne trade fair, filter and separation solutions will take center stage. Due to this trade fair, Cologne will once again become the meeting point of the global filtration and separation industry with experts, users and suppliers from all relevant sectors. The organizer expects more than 400 exhibitors on 14,000 square meters of exhibition space. The Filtech Fair is the largest event in the world that focuses entirely on all aspects of filtration and separation

The exhibitors from all around the world will present the entire range of relevant products. Filter materials, media and auxiliaries such as textiles, cloths and mats, bags and tubes, metal mesh, glass fiber, activated carbon, paper and sieves form the basis. These are supplemented by filter elements, housings, plates, frames and other components. Users will also find manufacturers of complete filter systems for all media, as well as dryers and centrifuges. Machines for the production of filters complete the offer.

The Filtech trade show will take place this year from October 22 to 24, 2019, on the grounds of Koelnmesse in the district of Cologne-Deutz. The humble beginnings of the fair with 6,200 visitors in 2011 are now far behind. Last year, 14,000 people attended the event, more than half of whom came from abroad. The organizer Filtech Exhibitions expects that the number of visitors will increase again this year. The exhibition organizers are expecting more than 400 exhibitors this year and have significantly increased their exhibition space by expanding to the second level of Hall 11 of Koelnmesse.

In addition to the actual fair, Filtech offers a range of accompanying events. An extensive conference program will take place on all three days of the fair. For this program, the organizers were able to win prominent experts from academia and industry. In addition to top-class keynotes, workshops and lectures on a variety of relevant topics are offered.

The fair also offers one-day courses on selected topics. This year, short courses for solid / liquid separation and fine dust separation will be offered on October 31st.

Visitors of the fair can pre-register on the website of the fair. . One-day tickets cost € 20.00, two-day tickets € 25.00, and one ticket for all three days € 30.00,

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